Thursday, September 19

New kids on the block


PBDS Baru among 5 new parties in Sarawak approved by ROS yesterday

PBDS IS BACK: Louis holds up the registration certificate of PBDS Baru after attending its presentation ceremony yesterday.

KUCHING: The state’s political scene has become more crowded after five new political parties received their certificates of registration at the Registrar of Societies (ROS) headquarters in Putrajaya yesterday.

As expected, Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak Baru (PBDS Baru) is among the newcomers. The other four are Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras), Parti Bumi Kenyalang, Peace Party and Parti Ekonomi Rakyat Sarawak Bersatu (PERSB).

On August 24, ROS director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman announced that the department had approved 20 out of 30 applications for new political parties.

At the 3 pm event yesterday, PBDS Baru pro tem chairman Louis Jarau and Peace Party pro tem president Petrus Jelin received the certificate for their respective parties.

PERSB was represented by its pro tem president Mohd Noh, a pensioner from Mukah while Teras was represented by former Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) executive secretary Banyi Beriak.

Parti Bumi Kenyalang was represented by a Chinese who claimed to be from Sibu.

“I would like to thank the authorities which have enabled PBDS to be re-registered under the name of Parti Bangsa Dayak Sarawak Baru.

“For future use, it would be shortened to Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak or PBDS in short. The name is fitting as it incorporates the ‘Parti Bansa Dayak’ of old but at the same time representing a new dawn, a legitimate new beginning after it was deregistered in 2004.

“We are well aware that we are part and parcel of being in the Federation of Malaysia, its states and levels of governments, its multi-ethnic mosaic, groups and interests.

“In this country no one race could govern by itself therefore it is our intention to interact well with these elements and discharge our responsibilities as a political party in concert with other political organisations,” Louis told The Borneo Post when contacted yesterday.

PBDS Baru submitted its application on March 26 2010.

PERSB, linked to agricultural entrepreneurs, submitted its application in January 2010. The party fielded 15 independent candidates in the 2011 state election but they all lost their deposits.

Parti Bumi Kenyalang submitted its application in 2010. Not much is known about the party except that it is formed by a group of Dayak and Chinese politicians.

Peace Party pro-tem deputy president Marcus Kanyong said the proposers of the party waited more than four years for its registration. “Personally, I feel happy because we have been waiting for this for so many years. We did not contest in the April 2011 state polls and parliamentary election this year because we were not a legal entity.”

As for Teras, the party is strongly linked to the Group of Five (G5) former Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party (SPDP) leaders sacked by the party. This connection however, has been denied by G5 spokesperson Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Peter Nansian Ngusie.

With the five parties joining the political scene the state now has 14 active political parties namely.

The nine existing parties are BN component members Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), SPDP and Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP), opposition Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) and State Reform Party (Star), peninsula-based Pakatan Rakyat alliance members of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS).